VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood was back at work on Friday less than 24 hours after being hit by a car on his bike. He’s calling the garbage truck driver who got the incident on camera, stopped to help him and called 911 a hero.
Video from Allen Ramos’ Waste Pro truck shows a car, deputies say driven by Paige Bergman, 20, veer off to the side, striking the sheriff and knocking him off his bike.
“Next thing was just like this freight train hit me from behind,” Chitwood said.
Deputies said Bergman kept on driving. That’s when Ramos jumped in to help.
“First I asked him if he was OK. I told him I was calling 911. I told him not to move,” Ramos said.
Then Ramos said he realized who it was.
“Right when he told me his name was Sheriff Chitwood, I just looked at him and I was like, ‘Oh no,’” Ramos said.
Deputies and Port Orange police were able to track Bergman down Thursday night using the video from Ramos’ truck. Bergman told deputies she thought she hit a mailbox and that she was using her cellphone to shop on Amazon at the time of the crash, according to Chitwood. The deputy then told her grandparents what she did.
“She did not hit a mailbox. Do you want to know what she hit? Mike Chitwood, the sheriff,” the deputy can be heard saying in the body camera video.
Bergman is now charged with leaving the scene of a crash with serious injuries.
“Had she pulled over, this wouldn’t even be a conversation right now because it was an accident,” Chitwood said.
Chitwood is on crutches with a fractured fibula, stitches in his back and road rash but he made a point to stop by the Waste Pro facility on Friday to thank the man who helped him.
“I’m so proud to have you in our community,” he said to Ramos.
He also took to social media to thank Ramos.
“This young man had my back when I was knocked down. I’ll never forget it, and I’ll always be grateful for what he did for me,” Chitwood tweeted.
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